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Bishop’s School girls water polo team defeats La Jolla High in first meetup of the season

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During the holiday break, The Bishop’s School’s girls water polo team practiced to the maximum allowed. And when it came time to take on local rival La Jolla High School, practice made perfect.

The Knights defeated the Vikings, 15-3, on Jan. 5 at the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex on the La Jolla High campus. Going into the match, the Knights were 5-2 overall and the Vikings were 11-3.

“We didn’t know how we were going to perform because we hadn’t played a game since Carlsbad High School [on Dec. 13],” said Bishop’s coach Doug Peabody. “But we really grinded through the break. We went our normal 18 hours a week of practice. We had 12 days of practice with no opponents, so we grinded ourselves. The girls were really fired up.”

Further, Bishop’s standout Julia Bonaguidi was playing for an international team overseas, “so we were wondering how we were going to perform without her,” Peabody said. “We were anxious to see how we were going to play.”

But during practice, the Knights homed in on one another’s strengths and weaknesses and built chemistry. “It was nice to see a bunch of girls that haven’t played together except in practice go out and play together,” Peabody said. “The seniors did the bulk of the work, but the chemistry with the girls helped put them in a position to score.”

Senior Camille Greenlee led the team with five goals and Lisbon Zeigler had a goal and three assists. Other top performers were Sophia Holman with three goals, Kate Weatherup and Lucille Proul with two, Kendall Wyer with five assists and goalie Chiara Marmanillo with eight saves, one steal and one assist.

La Jolla coach Amy Jennings said her junior-heavy team was “coming off a pretty solid season last year, but we lost nine seniors, and it was those seniors that carried the program. This year, it’s the juniors that have experience with varsity but had to be throttled into a leadership role. They have really stepped up, but going into the Bishop’s game, we knew how strong they are and how capable they are. It’s a rival, but a friendly rivalry because a lot of these girls grew up playing with each other.”

“We just didn’t play our best against Bishop’s,” said Jennings, who added that her players “think they just got in their own heads.”

“But we’re going to see them again, so we hope to get things in order by then.”

The teams next meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Bishop’s pool. ◆